The title of the poem “The Empty Dance Shoes” plays a significant role in the reader’s understanding of the poem. In this case, it is a symbolic representation of the emptiness an individual will experience if action is not taken. Empty dance shoes are just normal shoes if there is no one to wear them and dance to the sound of the beat.
The speaker of the poem is possibly a scientist. This is evident where utilizes scientific terms in describing the symbolism of the empty dance shoes. The speaker mentions the people who have studied “inertia” as the ones who can understand the “energy” that is present in a pair of shoes that have not been worn. This situation is symbolic of an individual who does nothing of meaning in their lives. In this regard, the speaker of the poem does not use unusual words rather continues to communicate in the scientific language as he repeatedly refers to the empty dance shoes to inertia and a leaf that has been pressed in a book.
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The empty dance shoes according to the speaker are referenced to a leaf that is pressed down in a book. Hereby, a leaf cannot be able to move freely with the weight of pages that lie on it. The Stardust Ballroom with its lights on and the loud vibrations of music cannot be able to move the empty shoes that lie without a dancer to fit them and move to the music.
As the poem develops it is clear that the speaker is making a personal statement on the lifelessness present in an empty pair of shoes. The persona makes one reference after another in an attempt to clarify that empty dance shoes cannot make a move without the assistance of the dancer. As seen in the clown beaten by a sandbag, a leaf pressed in a book and the rock that settles in mud but is skipped when a child crosses a lake.
The main idea that is set throughout the poem is that an individual should be able to get up and make value of their life unlike the lifeless items referenced. The poem is speaking out to all of mankind to demonstrate that there is a significant difference between living and non living things. The sand on the wiped off the cheek of a weakling is used symbolically to represent the action of an individual waiting on others to direct them on where their life should take course.